Tag Archives: bible

A Successful Family Life

Today’s message summary of December 4, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

A successful family is something that needs to be worked on.  It can be difficult at times, and there is no manual that is offered that gives clues how to do it.

Every person within the family has a divine purpose, and it is up to the family members to help sharpen each other.

It is better, by far, to grow healthy children into healthy adults than it is to repair old men and women.  The child raised in the Lord has a good opportunity to come up and succeed.

Dreams require sacrifice if they are going to become a reality.  Children are to be taught how to make sacrifices.  They need to be instructed how to give to others instead of just receive things.

Without sacrifice and dedication, a child will ultimately not go anywhere.  Making sacrifices are a requirement for those who desire a good education.

There is a threefold development that has to be taught within a family that are critical to successful living:

  1. Mind development (intellect, psychology)
  2. Body development (physical appearance)
  3. Reproductive drive (sexual desire)

This needs to be instructed within the family as there will be a number of voices from the outside that will try to shape or influence how a person views these issues.

The most important part of this that is developed last (that should be developed first) is the spiritual development of the child and the family.

Psalm 119:99

I have more insight than all my teachers because Your decrees are my meditation.

 

Psalm 119:59

I thought about my ways and turned my steps back to Your decrees.

 

Psalm 119:11-12

I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. Lord, may You be praised; teach me Your statutes.

 

There will be the need for instruction to address the different levels of growth in the family.

Each person in the family has to still make his or her own commitment to Jesus Christ.

John 6:63

The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

 

John 1:12

But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name.

 

1 John 5:4-5, 13

…because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

Success comes from direct obedience to the Holy Spirit.

In the family, there can be these scenarios:

  1. One person saved and one not saved (1 Corinthians 7:13).
  2. Both husband and wife are saved.
  3. One following Scripture while the other does not.
  4. Both parents saved living out the Scripture, while a child may live for the Lord and another may not.
  5. The complete family is saved and is following the Lord.

The Holy Spirit is the teacher in the family (John 14:25-26).

We in the family are the students (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13).

The Bible is the textbook (2 Timothy 3:16).

The family is to help one another to grow:

  1. Intellectually. We communicate our knowledge to one another. We listen to each other.
  1. Emotionally. We cry, hurt, laugh and have fun together.
  1. Physically. Hugging, touches, kisses, wrestling.
  1. Spiritually. We all help guide, but only the Holy Spirit can do the real teaching (John 14:25).

Understanding a person is to know when the Holy Spirit is the only one to meet the need at this particular time in life.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.


Scrambled Eggs

A message summary of April 10, 2016 from Mr. Paul Buzzi:

This church is blessed with many different things. If you know that you have been blessed beyond belief, then you should share with others.

Today, we are going to talk about scrambled eggs, about life, about death and about living.

(Holding up a bible) What is this? Yes, it is a bible, and it is a Book of Instruction. I was reminded that the Lord has taught me a lot of lessons. You have to be willing to hear His Word and do it. Don’t add a question mark to something where God has a period!

My wife tells me not to brag about anything, but I am willing to brag about what the Lord Jesus has done in my life.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own understanding;

think about Him in all your ways,

and He will guide you on the right paths.

We are all a bunch of Humpty Dumptys. We scramble our eggs, and we don’t know how to unscramble them. Jesus knows how to do it.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

I have had to ask the Lord for forgiveness for my behavior with my wife and even for the questions I have asked that made known my positions in a selfish manner.

To be forgiven is to experience freedom. When I was called to speak at a church, He told me that I needed to ask that congregation for forgiveness, as well, because of how I felt in my heart.

There is healing that needed to take place. God is the One who unscrambles the eggs.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from Gods Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For

who has known the Lords mind,

that he may instruct Him?

But we have the mind of Christ.

My wife and I are two different people, but we are joined together as one spirit in marriage. God proclaimed it, and it has been very good.

We need the Spirit of God in order to understand His Word; otherwise, it is a mystery. And, we cannot figure it out on our own.

God gave me the gift of evangelism and the gift of prophecy, and I don’t know if I like that! Because where much is given, much is required.

What are the wages of sin? The answer, of course, is death (Romans 6:23).

All of us are sinners, of course.

Once you are dead, you are dead. There are no degrees of dead. It’s all the same.

Thankfully, all of us received grace through our Savior, Jesus Christ, who took away our penalty of death.

I was asked to represent a person who was caught in a bank drive through with stolen checks and was high on meth. I went to the jail where the person was, and I told him that there is not much that I can do for you except tell you about Jesus.

Forgiveness is for both the perpetrator of sin and also the victim. It lifts a burden for both of them when there is complete forgiveness.

Ephesians 5:25-26

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.

When you learn to forgive your wife in the way that Christ forgave those as He was being crucified, you understand how much love you need to give to your wife.

Luke 23:34

Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing. And they divided His clothes and cast lots.

Hebrews 4:11-13

Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.

1 Corinthians 3:19-20

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.

1 John 5:11-12

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesnt have the Son of God does not have life.

He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son is perishing.

He is only the Lord of your life when you make Him Lord.

The fields are ripe with the harvest of those that need Jesus. The devil will tell you that it is too much trouble to witness for Christ. It is a lie from the devil.

One week after I accepted Christ, I was representing a young man who had a long juvenile record who was sent to jail. God spoke to me and told me to go back and speak to him about Me. I hesitated twice because I knew so little about Christ, but I was able to speak to him and he accepted Christ. We were holding hands in prayer in a jail cell and he made a decision for Him.

Psalm 127:3-5

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,

children, a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

are the sons born in ones youth.

Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.

Such men will never be put to shame

when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.

If you leave church today alive, you won’t be half-dead. Be sure to share the Bible with everyone you come into contact with–to see people pass from death into life.

Make sure that you leave church today alive in a life for Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is Gods giftnot from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.


Ready, Willing and Able

Today’s message summary of January 24, 2016 from Melvin Gaines:

There was a time in the past when someone, perhaps an adult, asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up. When I was asked this question as an early teenager, I used to answer that I wanted to be an architect or an engineer. I came to that conclusion because I loved watching television in the 70s. Among my favorite shows were The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Phyllis, The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch, where Mike Brady, the dad and husband of the bunch, was an architect. Beyond that, I didn’t have any idea what it would take to be an architect or what it meant to be an engineer. I was rather impressionable at that time in my life, and it just seemed to be the cool thing to do.

I went go through the effort of buying a drafting board, a T-square, pencils and rulers to pursue drafting, but I wound up getting more involved in freehand drawing and lettering. From there, I moved to graphics and later changed to drawing, but I ultimately did not pursue a career in art. In fact, I had considered becoming a lawyer until one of my professors in college, who taught Political Science, made a comment that lawyers will be marching single file over a cliff because there will be too many of them to effectively make a living. Talk about a downer!

You can see how random my career path turned out to be; in fact, I stumbled into the collection business because I transitioned out of retail and sales. I’ve been involved in collections, customer service and supervision now for over thirty years, and it was far from my original choice of a career path.

Perhaps, unlike me, you were able to pursue your most desired career path. Many of us derive our self-worth with what we do for a living. Some of us are still trying to get to that dream job or reach the pinnacle of a career path towards success. Even if you are still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, there is something very, very important that you can do, no matter what your career is. The most important thing that you can do is to serve Jesus Christ right where you are.

When you are serving Christ, your career job or your career path becomes less important, and your relationship with Christ becomes more important, because you trust that He has you where you need to be at that very moment.

Now, let’s take this a step further. Assuming that you are serving Christ, and living as He would have you to live, are you ready, willing and able to think about moving outside of the box? Are you sensitive to God’s call to reach others for the gospel outside of your workplace? Are you open to God’s call to go further than you ever thought you could go?

Please consider the following call that God gives to every believer in Jesus Christ, whether you have a career or not:

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The authority that Jesus received from His father gave Him the right to tell His followers to go out and reach others with the good news of Christ. He wants them to tell all about what we know of Him and His Word in order that those who hear the message could also tell others about Christ. In order to do this, His followers would have to leave their homes and even their immediate surroundings to carry out this command:

Acts 1:8 ESV

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Jesus was not limiting His call to your street or your neighborhood, your office or your company, or even within the state or country. He literally meant “the end of the earth,” which is “all nations.” For believers, this should not be considered as “out of the box” thinking. It is what He expects of His followers.

So, what now? Jesus is calling for His followers to go to other nations. The gospel is to be proclaimed wherever there are people all over the world. It must be proclaimed because there are millions of people in our generation who were just like you at one time in your life…unsaved and lost. There are millions everywhere who are “lost in a system of religion that binds people into submission; lost in the discord of deities and idols; lost in a belief that we are alone in this world, that human enlightenment is the path to truth, and that our own works will determine whether we get to go to heaven or not” (cmalliance.org).

There are many who are without hope, just as you were at one time. There are many who have not realized God’s eternal grace. In order to have empathy for the lost, you should quietly reflect upon where you once were without Christ, and where you are now with Him. Jesus Christ desires for all to come to a saving knowledge of Him (1 Timothy 2:3-4), but if you don’t share this desire, then you are not ready to go anywhere. You have more to learn about Jesus, and you have more to learn about yourself.

Jesus calls His people into ministry and to “go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). In order to fulfill this task, Jesus wants us to be ready, willing and able. He gives us the Holy Spirit to provide us with power and energy, but we still need to do our part.

I.  Get ready. To be ready means to get ready. This readiness is all about personal development in Christ. A healthy relationship with Jesus Christ can only be developed and improved with the discipline of preparation, the desire to be obedient and the implementation of His character each day.

The discipline of preparation is reading and studying the Bible on a daily basis. As the Word means more and more to you each day, you find yourself desiring to please God more and more by following His teaching, and by living under His instruction as you pray for knowledge and meditate on His wisdom:

Psalm 1:1-2 ESV

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night .

II.  Be willing. Willingness is a component of obedience to Jesus and His call for you. If He is calling you to go forth, you must be willing to listen and embrace what He wants you to do, reminding you that He is asking you to do it in the power of the Holy Spirit, for remember that He tells you that He will be with you no matter where you are (Matthew 28:20):

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

To be willing is to be flexible. It means that following Jesus is more important than creature comforts or familiar settings. It means living a life of personal sacrifice, and it requires a humble heart in order for you to carry out the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) before others. It means being a friend to others. It means loving other people—even those who are much different than you—where you will reflect the love of Christ:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Your desire to serve Jesus Christ in love will produce much fruit:

  • Jesus wants you to be willing to obey Him in all things (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3).
  • Jesus wants you to be willing to show yourself to others as a sincere human being who follows Him (Colossians 3:22; Titus 2:7).
  • He wants you to be willing to live and act in such a way that people can see His love, grace and mercy (1 John 4:7-8; Romans 6:14; Luke 6:36).

Of all of these things, Jesus desires for you to be willing to forgive others, even those who persecute you:

Colossians 3:12-13 ESV

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

A willingness to obey Jesus propels the faithful believer into a life of service that is open to the work of the Holy Spirit in everything that is done.

III. Be able. In order to serve Christ wherever He sends you, it is very important to be able to rely upon the Holy Spirit to provide wisdom and guidance throughout any and all circumstances. The Spirit enables you to live in a Christlike manner before others:

Isaiah 11:2 ESV

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

John 14:15-17 ESV

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

You are able as the Spirit enables you to do these things. His purpose is to glorify God, which is what people are to conclude as they see the presence of Christ in everything that you do. You are able to show others God’s love, grace and mercy, in order that they can, perhaps for the first time in their lives, experience God’s love, grace and mercy.

The Great Commission of Jesus Christ is a powerful message for the believer. It compels you to think long and hard about more than just a job, or even a career. It compels you to think about how you can serve Him. The burden of serving others will make you pray fervently—get down on your knees—and open yourself up to how He can use you. You will see the need for a harvest in the same way that Jesus does (Luke 10:2; 2 Peter 3:9). A. B. Simpson noted that people are to be prayerful for qualified, well-trained workers who desire to follow God’s call to missions, and also prayerful for sufficiency in financial support.

There is a lot at stake as there is an end to when the gospel will be proclaimed—Christ’s return is imminent:

Matthew 24:14 ESV

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

When He returns, Jesus Christ will claim His people and judge those whom He does not have a personal relationship. The signs of His coming are ever-present and should not be ignored:

A. B. Simpson noted: “The religious signs are growing more vivid. Lukewarmness and worldliness in the Church, intense longings after holiness on the part of the few, and a mighty missionary movement are the features of the age, and the signs of prophecy, that point to the day of the Son of Man.”

A. B. Simpson stated that the gospel message is reflected in “the greatest text in the Bible,” and that it is a missionary message summed up in three thoughts:

  1. “This is the God the world needs to know.
  2. This is the Gospel the world needs to hear.
  3. This is the Love the world needs to see.”

The lost of the world need to see the true God of the universe reflected in your Christlike behavior.

The lost need to hear God’s words of encouragement through His promise of salvation.

The lost need to see your love and sincerity through friendship in order to share these very important truths.

The Bible says in Romans chapter 10, “how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?” (cmalliance.org)

Now is the time to be ready, willing and able to speak freely about the One who saved you for all eternity.

Are you ready, willing and able to trust in Jesus Christ in this way?

In the same way Jesus proclaimed you righteous and saved you with His grace, now’s the time for you to share His love for you with others.

2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT

“For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.”

 

Copyright © Melvin Gaines


What John Sees in Heaven (Revelation Chapter 12) – Part 1

Today’s message summary of July 12, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Last week, we spent time in Revelation Chapter 11, where we looked at the two witnesses of God and how God’s Word tormented the people present who were in the temple worshiping the Antichrist, and the people, when the two witnesses were killed, celebrated over their death. We need to see clearly the character of the people who will be living at that time, and that there was not even the decency to remove the witnesses’ bodies from the streets.  When the witnesses came back to life after 3 1/2 days, we see not long after this in Revelation 11:19:

God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

We will now look at Chapter 12 where John will describe what he sees in heaven. Revelation Chapter 12 is called by some as the key to understanding this book and all of the entire Bible.  Why? Because it reveals the conflict of the ages between Israel, Jesus Christ and Satan.  This chapter tells us of the conflct of the past and the conflict of the future.  Note that a lot of this conflict is taking place right now, but it is intensifying and it will continue to intensify.  Satan knows that his time is short.

The story has its main characters: Israel, Jesus, Satan, and we often that this is only about Israel. Please note the word, “nations.” Nations will include all other groups outside of Israel.

Matthew 24:7, 14

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

All nations will be involved in the presentation of the gospel, and then the end will come.

Revelation 18:3
For all nations have drunk
    the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
    and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.

Revelation 20:7-8

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
Israel is used as a witness to every nation.

Revelation 11:9-10

For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.

All eyes, from every nation, are drawn to Jerusalem and the two witnesses.

In Revelation Chapter 12, a wondrous sign is seen in heaven:

Revelation 12:1-2
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth.

That woman giving birth is Israel, the nation. She is in the process of giving birth to the Messiah.  This and the following passages will account for the past, present and the future.

Romans 9:4-5
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Israel has been looking for the birth of the Messiah for some time.

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).

The promise of the Messiah was given in Genesis 3:15:

Genesis 3:15

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

Hebrews 7:14-16
Now it is evident that our Lord came from Judah and Moses said nothing about that tribe concerning priests. And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek appears, who did not become a priest based on a legal command concerning physical descent but based on the power of an indestructible life.

Note the prophecy of the sun and the moon with Joseph:

Genesis 37:9-11

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

This is what is revealed in Revelation 12:1.

The woman cries out in pain.

Matthew 2:16-18

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
    weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Another sign is revealed in verses 3 and 4 of Chapter 12:

The red dragon is a portrayal of Satan.  The color red is the color of blood, representing all of the bloodshed that he has caused.  Satan came to kill.

John 10:10a
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and destroy.

Satan is out to steal your spiritual wealth.

John 8:44
You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.

Revelation 17:6
Then I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the saints and on the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

Revelation 7:9, 14
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands.

I said to him, “Sir, you know.” Then he told me: These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

We, as a society, have been slowly, but surely, desensitized over time about murder. The people are hearing more and more about it and are less and less likely to be outraged over it.

To not respond to situations when we know sin is being committed is, in itself, sinful. We are to live as a community and be responsive, but Satan continues to push us back out of the picture.  As “the light of the world,” there comes a point where we, as the body of Christ, must engage with members of society and be the light that opposes darkness.  As long as God gives us breath, we are called to be the peacemakers.


God Will Make Himself Known

Today’s message summary of March 1, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

There a famine in the land.  People who claim that they are Christians have essentially put the bible down. Some Christians read the bible on an average of two times a week and maybe read it for 3 to 5 minutes at a time.

We have been conditioned to accept what society is saying is correct according to morals and what is right as opposed to what God’s Word states.

Young people today are struggling to figure out what is right or what is appropriate. If they choose to not accept the truth, there is a good chance that they will believe lies. Some have already chosen to reject Jesus Christ, but they have already been conditioned to reject Him.

God will not make you love Him–even if He is standing right before you. He will make Himself known, at some point in time, because there will be a point where man will no longer be a testimony for Him.

We can see how the bible is no longer looked upon as God’s Word of authority. According to today’s societal standard, it is not relevant to today. In spite of its true authority and its power, it is largely ignored.

Philippians 3:16-20

In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

A lot of people may say, “I don’t hate God,” yet, they really don’t love Him either. They may say they believe in Him, but it will seldom me seen by their actions. He wants those who profess Him to be zealous for Him.

Parents, help your children to see the goodness of God within your teaching them about God’s Word.

1 Thessalonians 2:5-6

For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives–God is our witness–and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others.

 

When proclaiming God’s truth, it is to be done with the mindfulness of Jesus Christ, and not for the purpose of “tickling someone’s ears.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.

 

Rebellion implies that there is a departure from what is deemed to be a standard. In this case, rebellion is against the standards and principles of God and His Word. Many will deny Him and turn away from Him. We are seeing how society is already being conditioned for this.

Amos 8:11

Hear this! The days are coming–this is the declaration of the Lord God–when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

 

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

If you don’t have the Word of God, you will also have a lack of faith. God’s Word is what builds one up to be able to stand in faith. Satan is removing the Word from society bit by bit over time.

 

Luke 18:8

I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?

 

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

…and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, so that all will be condemned–those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.

 

The lies are coming from Satan, today’s society and culture. Those lies are rooted in unrighteousness and are contrary to God’s Word.

Revelation 14:6

Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, having the eternal gospel to announce to the inhabitants of the earth–to every nation, tribe, language, and people.

 

Acts 1:8

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 

In Ezekiel 39, God is going to communicate things more than once to its readers–take note of it.

Ezekiel 39:6

“I will send fire against Magog and those who live securely on the coasts and islands. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.”

 

Many people don’t want to know the Lord. If you do want to know Him, He will never hide Himself from you. He wants to guide you and embrace you, and you would know it within His presence. If you don’t want His presence in your life, it can be summed up that you do not desire to change how you live your life.

 

Ezekiel 39:21-22

“I will display My glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the judgment I have executed and the hand I have laid on them. From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am Yahweh their God.

 

God is going to show Himself holy amongst many nations (Ezekiel 39:26).

Ezekiel 39:29

“I will no longer hide My face from them, for I will pour out My Spirit on the house of Israel.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

 

Revelation 7:1-4

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.  Then I saw another angel, who had the seal of the living God rise up from the east. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were empowered[a] to harm the earth and the sea:  “Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads.”  And I heard the number of those who were sealed:

144,000 sealed from every tribe of the Israelites.

 

Revelation 14:3

They sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elder, but no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.

 

How is this going to happen?

  1. Gog (Russia) will fail (Ezekiel 39:3-6)
  2. For seven years they will use the weapons for fuel (Ezekiel 39:7-9)
  3. It will take seven months to bury the bodies (Ezekiel 39:12).
  4. Israel’s people will be brought back to its land (Ezekiel 39:25).
  5. The Spirit will be poured out onto the house of Israel (Revelation 7).

People will have to ask themselves if man is accomplishing all of these things, or is it God who is doing it?

We’re living in days that are frightening. Listen to the young people and what they value or hold as important. God is far from their hearts and minds. Take a good look at our churches. They are losing a cultural battle. The church message, nevertheless, must go forth and be delivered to the people. It will bring people the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. People will both hear it and acknowledge it, or it will be denied or disregarded as insignificant. Pray for your loved ones who don’t know Jesus Christ that the Spirit will give them that truth.


The Bible is the True Word of God

Original post with editing from May 31, 2009 

Can we rely upon God’s Word as a faithful and trusted source of information?

Many people today are questioning whether or not God’s Word is truth because our society has evolved and changed over time, and people have challenged the Bible’s relevance to today’s world. Worse yet, the believability of His word may be an issue of how one sees it when contemplating today’s lifestyle choices. Even church-going people (and some Christians are included here) do not embrace the Word of God in its entirety. Some bible verses may be followed or agreeable while others may be ignored altogether. While many recognize the Bible as a good source of information, others may not deem it as reliable or worthy of trust.  Trust in the bible depends upon the individual’s outlook on God’s role in his or her life.

Is the Bible to be relied upon and is it a trustworthy source of information? Well, as much as we have changed over the years, God’s Word has not changed…ever. As much as some do not want to admit it, His Word is still very relevant to today. First, consider that the Bible was not originated by man (as some would argue):

2 Peter 1:20-21

First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.

 

 

It is not about how we interpret life from our own perspective; it is more about the Holy Spirit allowing one to see how Christ can work in and through one’s life!  The Word of God is perfect and it is a rejuvenating testimony for anyone who wants to accept it. It is consistent and without blemish or errors and it is faithful. It provides those who are willing to accept its teaching the experience needed to live a joyful and abundant life (Psalm 19:7-9).

God’s Word will stand forever. It did not end with the passing of the disciples who followed Christ.

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of our God remains forever.

 

Psalm 93:5

Lord, Your testimonies are completely reliable; holiness is the beauty of Your house for all the days to come.

 

 

God’s Word remains firm, and it remains consistent and timeless. As long as there is a human race, there is a need for God’s Word to be proclaimed and presented throughout the entire world (Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20). The challenge that we have is to have faith in God’s Word and trust the reliability of His Word. We are to continually bolster ourselves with Scripture in how we live for Jesus Christ and with our daily reading and devotional time (Romans 12:1-2).


Love Will Endure to the End

This is a complete text of the Sunday morning message Love Will Endure to the End presented on April 20, 2008 at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church, Akron, Ohio.

If there is nothing else that you can say about the world that we live in today, you can conclude without much debate from anyone else that we are living in a time of great uncertainty.  The news from the neighborhood to the greater community, from Ohio, and across the nation is very relevant to us, and it has mostly been of a dubious nature.  The instability of our economy coupled with demands for greater taxes, massive job losses along with people being displaced because they are losing their homes have created a new age of nomadic movement and introspection as to what will happen next.  We are also now seeing the bad fruits of the undereducated in our society because of the increase of property crimes and armed robberies, along with illegal drug activity that can now be found in varying degrees in every single community.  Notice that these are matters that are compounded with the rapidly accelerating moral decline in our society, where it is becoming more commonplace and “accepted” to have open discussions about sex, and there are more reported cases of sexual deviancy that are being brought out in the open.  The moral standards of right and wrong are no longer absolute in our society.  The lines between the two have been blurred, or they have been altogether flip-flopped.  We are living in the age of uncertainty, and its nickname is the Age of Deception.

With all of the uncertainty that is ever-present today, the world may be bracing itself for the next disaster or calamity.  For those of us who have the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the insight of His Word through the Holy Spirit, there is nothing that is going on today that should be peculiar to us.  We need to take the events of today seriously and look beyond the physical nature of today’s political and economic environment.  Look at these reminders in Scripture as to how we can be thrown off course and pay attention to the wrong things because of the appearance of present and future events:

Matthew 24:4-12

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many.  You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines (or epidemics) and earthquakes in various places.  All these events are the beginning of birth pains.  “Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you.  You will be hated by all nations because of My name.  Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another.  Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.

The root of all of these visible events, which include the earthquakes, the famines, people starving to death, the crime and the hatred of people against people, has an underlying element of the unseen – it is the presence of deception.  These are the deceptive practices of Satan and his numerous evil associates.  Please note that it is not only Satan who will be attempting to deceive us, but anyone who does not follow the Lord…

Ephesians 6:12

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

The level of deception is enormous in its scope is ever-present today (in the news and in the media), and it will intensify as time goes along because we will see that many people who are peaceful and who preach tolerance will turn away from love (as noted in Matthew 24-10) and will become argumentative and contentious because of what is happening in the world, and there will be even more deception of the truth.  There will be extreme paranoia, mistrust will be rampant, and lawlessness will be prevalent through this day and in the future.  Those that do not follow the Lord will be empowered by Satan himself to promote the contention and deception in this world.

Should we be concerned that there will be believers in this group of people that will be deceived and that will turn from love, peace and the truth?  Jesus does not make a stipulation that it will only be unbelievers that will be deceived.  It will be those that do not hold to the truth that they know and that will turn from the faith.  The very act of taking offense (as noted earlier) is to be provoked or aggravated into a response.  When Jesus speaks of the love of many growing cold, it is referring to how believers will be moved away from the faith because they will be provoked or aggravated away from what they had been taught to be the truth and in following Jesus Christ.  What we must remember (and always realize) is that it is not in our own strength that we can remain true to Jesus Christ, but in the strength and enabling of the Holy Spirit.  We cannot resist provocation on our own accord.  Deception of the believers is an issue today and is likely to occur in the future, but this is nothing new.

Deuteronomy 13:1-4

“If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.  You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him.  You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him.”

Matthew 24:24

False messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

If you look up the word “elect” in the dictionary, one of the definitions under the noun caption will state that the elect are people specially chosen or favored by God, including those chosen for salvation.

Jesus is warning us that we need not look at the signs of the events of this world that take our focus off of the Lord.  The Scripture states that God Himself is love, and when we turn away from the love of God and remove our focus from Him.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind.  Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; does not act improperly; is not selfish; Is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The test that we have in these times is the ability to love one another, in spite of what we see, and to persevere and endure whatever is before us.

James 1:2-4

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

Matthew 24:13

But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.

The purpose of the endurance of the trials to focus on the Lord is to teach us and give us hope in the Lord in the face of the world’s turmoil.

Romans 15:4-6

For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.  Now may the God of endurance and encouragement grant you agreement with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.

As the Scripture states, and this is where it all begins and ends, this is a message of endurance of the hard times and the difficult times, and also a message of encouragement when we persevere in keeping our focus on Jesus.  The powers of Satan have been, at present are, and will continue to be successful in getting believers off of the focus of Jesus Christ, which will only add to the turmoil of the world as it exists today and promises to be in the future.  God challenges us as individuals, and as a body (in the body of Christ) to be like-minded and in agreement that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and that we are to glorify God and rejoice together that he has the way of escape for us because we follow Him!  There will be those who will oppose us because Satan will power the opposition, but God has and will prevail over Satan.  The great deceiver wants us to believe otherwise, but we must fight the deception, and hold onto the truth and love of Christ!

You must become your own advocate to determine what is true in your life, and what is not true.  There is no one else that can do this successfully for you other than you.  Look at what the prophet John states about love and deception and how our focus must be persistent in following God:

1 John 4:1-6

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.  But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.  You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God.  Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us.  From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.

To follow God means to love God and to love one another.  We cannot allow our love to run cold as to do so is to turn away from God and to be disobedient to his Word.  God is the essence of love and we must strive to live in His love and remain in His Word.

1 John 4:7-12

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  God’s love was revealed among us in this way:  God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.  No one has ever seen God.  If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.

Jesus also stated that to love God and love others accordingly is the greatest of the commandments in the law – the very foundation and principle of our faith.

Matthew 22:37-40

He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and most important commandment.  The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

It’s time to get serious about how we respond to God and His Word.  We must progress and endure beyond the measure of a mere childlike and emotional faith.  We are to now move from liquid nutrition to solid food in our understanding of God’s Word.  We now must actively seek Him through His Word, and prepare to share His Word to others, for we will indeed persevere, and we will prevail as we follow  Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:8, 11, 13

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Copyright © Melvin Gaines.